Tragedy of a father who lost more than 20 family members in Khan Sheikhun

Abdul Hamid al-Yousef tells his story to one of the first western journalists to visit the Syrian town that was devastated by chemical weapons attack

In these dark days, the drive through Idlib province is a study in contrasts. Few places match its beauty in spring – green as far as the eye can see, olive and cherry trees in blossom, yellow and purple flowers alongside the verdant hues of the earth.

But look further into the distance, at the towns and villages that dot the countryside along the way to and from Khan Sheikhun, scene of the chemical attack on Tuesday that killed more than 80 people, and you will see columns of smoke rising in the sky.

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Labour MPs accused of ‘dirty tricks’ in Unite poll by Len McCluskey

Union leader calls for inquiry into ‘plot’ by MPs on right of party to undermine him and his close ally Jeremy Corbyn

Len McCluskey, leader of the super-union Unite, is to demand a Labour party investigation into what he claims is a plot by a “cabal” of MPs on the right of the party to undermine him and his close ally, leader Jeremy Corbyn.

In a move likely to open another chapter in the party’s civil war, McCluskey, who is standing for re-election as general secretary of the one million-member union, says rightwing Labour MPs and grandees, with the support of almost the entire media, have turned the election in his union into “a proxy war against Corbyn”.

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Len McCluskey: ‘If Labour is divided, we’re in trouble. Give Jeremy a chance’

As the leader of the Unite union enters the last 10 days of his own re-election campaign, he reaffirms his support for Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has fought two leadership contests, in 2015 and again last year. And even though his name is not on the ballot paper, he has ended up in the middle of a third one being fought now. The battle to head the most powerful union in Britain, which would normally be confined to issues such as pay, pensions and job security, has been turned into a proxy war over Corbyn.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite since 2011, is up for re-election and the ballot closes on 19 April. Most union elections go largely unnoticed but this one is high-profile because McCluskey is one of Corbyn’s biggest backers. Without him, the Labour leader would be left seriously exposed.

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Swedish truck attack: shock gives way to fears for open society

Uzbek arrested in Stockholm is main suspect amid aftermath of political tension, defiance and anxiety

Opposite the Åhléns department store on Drottninggatan, the smell of smoke still hanging over central Stockholm gave way to the fragrance of flowers.

Swedes had festooned the high police barriers opposite the store with red and white roses. In place of the usual roar of cars there was a stillness broken only by the sound of seagulls and hushed voices.

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Could Britain have sold sarin chemicals to Assad’s regime?

Campaigners point out that substances used to manufacture the nerve agent were exported to Damascus in the 80s

Evidence that the sarin nerve agent was used in the chemical attack that killed more than 80 and injured hundreds of others in Syria’s northern province of Idlib last week has triggered awkward questions for the government over the part played by the UK in the Assad regime’s development of a chemical weapons programme.

Related: 'The dead were wherever you looked': inside Syrian town after chemical attack

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US special forces soldier killed in operation against Isis in Afghanistan

  • Spokesman for Nato-led mission says soldier mortally wounded
  • Operation against Isis took place in Achin, in Nangarhar province

An American soldier was killed while conducting operations against Islamic State in Afghanistan late on Saturday, a US military spokesman said in a message posted on Twitter.

“The soldier was mortally wounded late Saturday during an operation in Nangarhar province” in eastern Afghanistan, US navy captain Bill Salvin said in a message on the official Twitter account of the Nato-led resolute support mission.

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Northern Ireland faces ‘direct rule by stealth’ as talks falter

Sources at power-sharing negotiations say ‘miracle’ is needed to achieve agreement by Easter deadline

Only a “miracle” can save talks aimed at restoring a power sharing government in Northern Ireland, an MP has warned. With just over a week left before the deadline on discussions between the Northern Irish parties, the prospect of what has been called “direct rule by stealth” now appears to be closer than at any time since the Good Friday agreement.

Related: Northern Ireland has our only EU border. Theresa May ignores it at her peril | Siobhan Fenton

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‘Animal’ Alonso unleashes wild side in Chinese GP qualifying

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - - Twice Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso unleashed his inner animal on Saturday as he dragged his misfiring McLaren Honda past the opening phase of qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix. “I am pushing like an animal,” Alonso told his team over the radio after unexpectedly setting a time good enough to get him well clear of the elimination zone and into the top-10 in the opening part of the hour-long session. The Spaniard eventually ended up 13th on the times